Trio leads Central football honorees

Published 9:43 am Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Central High School’s varsity football team was represented by seven 2017 All-Region 1B selections and five 2017 All-James River District nods.

The regional selections were announced Tuesday.

“We were happy with that,” Chargers Head Coach Will Thomas said of his team’s all-region honorees. “It could have been more, should have been, but all things considered, that was good. We’re proud of them.”

Making both the all-region and all-district first teams were junior running back Dontae Crowder, senior punter Ethan Hoover and senior offensive lineman Jackson Parsons.

Thomas estimated that Crowder ran for 1,900 yards and more than 35 touchdowns.

“He probably had the best stats of anybody, even in the region,” Thomas said.

He noted that Crowder’s single-season yardage total was probably second-best in school history and his touchdown total may have been the best.

Key to facilitating Central’s run game was Parsons.

“He was one of the better offensive linemen we had as a sophomore, so he’s continued to get better,” Thomas said. With Parsons playing at left tackle, “we run behind him on pretty much every play.”

Parsons also made the all-region and all-district second teams as a defensive lineman, compiling more than 70 tackles.

“He definitely earned it on both sides of the ball,” Thomas said.

The coach said that Hoover averaged about 40 yards a punt and pinned returners inside their own 20-yard line three times.

“Ethan did just absolute above and beyond what we asked for him,” Thomas said. “He just did a great job. We just couldn’t have been more happy, somebody that really just got better and better. … He bailed us out several times.”

Also making the all-region second team were senior tight end Ben Spencer, senior defensive back Khamell Roberts and sophomore running back T’zion Wilkerson.

Acknowledging Spencer’s and Parsons’ mutual status as three-year veterans on the team, Thomas said, “They did a great job. … They went through a lot, some good times and not-so-good times.”

Wilkerson ran for more than 1,000 yards this season in addition to Crowder.

“We’ve never had two one thousand rushers in a year,” Thomas said. “That’s pretty impressive.”

He also estimated that Wilkerson ran for more yards than any Central sophomore ever has on the varsity team.

Thomas said he was happy to see Roberts honored after starring in six games before suffering a season-ending injury.

“He’s probably our best defensive player, the six games he played,” the coach said.

Also making the all-district second team was junior place kicker Earl Ginn.

Thomas said, “Nobody works harder than he does.”